By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kwara state chapter, has raised the alarm about alleged plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to implicate some of its members ahead of a campaign rally to be led by President Muhammad Buhari on February 4, 2018 in Ilorin, the state capital.
State chairman of the party, Alhaji Kola Shittu who raised the alarm on Saturday at a press briefing listed seven top members of the party who have been allegedly slated for arrest on trumped up charges in order to intimidate the party.
Shittu asked Nigerians to prevail on the security operatives not to be used for political vendata, pointing out that his party has been engaged in campaigns for long now without any untoward incident.
Shittu’s text of the address reads: “As you are all aware, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari is billed to visit Kwara state on February 4, 2019 in furtherance of his campaign tour of the country. We welcome him and his entourage to our dear state of Harmony.
“However, we want to draw the attention of the public to plot by members of the opposition All Progressives Congress(APC) in the state to rope and get prominent members of our party arrested on trump up charges before the date of Mr President’s visit to the state.
“Information at our disposal indicates that the security operatives have been directed to effect the arrest of our party leaders and supporters any time from now based on false allegations concocted against them by certain APC stalwarts.
“Top on the list of our party’s leaders pencilled down for illegal arrest are the north and central senatorial chairmen of the PDP, Alhaji Isiaka Oniwa and Alhaji Jimoh Adesina respectively. Others include the Director General of the Mandate ABS Constituency Office, Ilorin, Alhaji Musa Abdullahi, Mr Taju Alabi, Alhaji Oba Ajara, Alhaji Alfa Dembo, Barr. Lanre Daibu, Hon. Isiaka Magaji, Alhaja Sarat Adebayo, among others.
“We want the whole World to know that none of our members slated for arrest prior to Mr President’s visit has committed any offence known to the law which could precipitate their arrest. Leaders and members of our party are peace loving and law abiding citizens who can not hurt a fly let alone a whole President of the country.
“Our party is also peaceful unlike the factionalised state APC. If there is anyone that will want to foment trouble during the President’s impending visit, such persons should be searched for within the fold of the factionalised and troubled APC.
“As at today, the discontentment that greeted the APC’s gubernatorial primaries in the state is still festering. The situation is that the APC parades two governorship candidates produced by two different executive committees of the party. The story is the same for every other elective position in the party for this forthcoming elections.
“You are all aware that the matter is currently before the court of law. However instead of the troubled party to focus attention on its battle, it has decided to prowl on innocent members of our party who in the last few weeks have been engaged in open campaign across the state to win the support of the electorate.
“We do not want the world to treat this alarm as a political gimmick because as the saying goes, once bitten twice shy. Not too long ago our leader the Senate President raised the alarm about his home being the target of a proposed attack from the APC. We all recall that not too long thereafter they struck and did much damage.
“We therefore call on men and women of goodwill across Nigeria to prevail on our security agencies in the state not to be used as agent of oppression and political vendetta.”